Small, Innovative Housing Developments to Receive State Funds

GOV. MALLOY ANNOUNCES FUNDS for SMALL, INNOVATIVE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS 

$9.5M Allocated for 11 Projects in 10 Communities

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne Klein today announced $9,555,585 in loans for the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units in small multifamily rental and homeownership developments across the state.

The funding aims to expand affordable housing opportunities by fostering innovative approaches in design, location, construction costs, operating costs, environmental sustainability, affordability, or support services.  Developments that could serve as a model and be replicated on a larger scale were especially encouraged.

“We’ve already accomplished more in the past four years on housing than had been done in decades. The question now is, how do we raise the bar again to have a both short and long-run impact? Investments in safe, affordable housing undoubtedly pay long-term dividends, promoting healthier lives, stronger communities, and a more vibrant economy,” said Governor Malloy. “This financial assistance – encouraging innovation – is a terrific way to ensure the state is meeting the urgent need for more housing options with unique, well-designed, sustainable, and cost-effective units.”

“This funding was intended for smaller projects with total development costs of no more than $6 million and we limited our financial assistance to no more $2 million to ensure applicants leverage state assistance with substantial financial and/or in-kind resources from other sources, particularly private sources of debt and equity,” said Commissioner Evonne Klein.

Earlier this week the state bond commission also approved $39.5 million in funding for the preservation and creation of over 1,000 units of housing across the state.  Funding commitments by the Malloy administration are at the highest levels since 1989. Total funding, which now exceeds $400 million, is assisting in the preservation and creation of over 7,000 units of housing.

The award recipients are as follows:

  • Bridgeport — Bishop Place and Seaview Apartments

DOH will provide approximately $1.4 million in funding to Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust to assist in the redevelopment of four multifamily apartment buildings in Bridgeport’s East End. The properties, located on Stratford and Seaview Avenues, are adjacent to existing bus routes, providing access to Bridgeport’s extensive mass transit operations. The rehabilitation of these four properties will include renovations of kitchens and bathrooms; replacement of windows and siding; and other exterior repairs. This project is a component of the city’s neighborhood stabilization initiative in the East End. The project will provide housing units to families earning up to 80% of the area median income. 

  • Guilford Hubbard Woods

The Mutual Housing Association of South Central Connecticut (MHA) will receive approximately $1.17 million to complete renovations and energy improvements, assuring the sustainability of this 13-unit family housing development in Guilford.  MHA recently acquired full ownership of Hubbard Woods and the DOH funding will allow the organization to extend affordability for 99 years. To address energy sustainability, the renovation work will be coordinated with Southern Connecticut Gas, which will bring gas service to the development, saving tenants an estimated $2,000 annually in utility costs. The development will be one of the first in Guilford to be converted from oil to gas for heat and hot water. In addition to the gas conversion, necessary repairs and replacements include kitchens and baths, windows, roofing, and paving. 

  • Hartford — Hands on Hartford

DOH will provide approximately $950,000 to Hands on Hartford, Inc. (HOH) to assist in the revitalization of a vacant historic building in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood.  The mixed-use development will serve as the headquarters for HOH with office space for case management and other services, community function rooms, and a restaurant at street level to provide services to pedestrian traffic near the Parkville CTfastrak station. The organization proposes the new construction of 13 one-bedroom units for supportive housing. In furtherance of its core mission, HOH will target individuals who are HIV-positive or have AIDS and who are homeless or in imminent risk of being homeless. Because the property is near the busway, residents will have transit alternatives to access employment centers in the city and beyond.

  • Naugatuck 13 May Street

DOH will provide approximately $360,000 for the construction of a new two-unit sustainable energy home.  The building will be constructed to have a “net zero” energy consumption strategy with photo voltaic roof panels and high-efficient, mini-split heat pumps providing central heat and air conditioning, which will greatly reduce the operating and tenant utility costs for these units. The project is within walking distance of the Naugatuck central business district and multi-modal mass transit operations. The project will provide two supportive housing units to families earning up to 50% of the area median income. 

  • New Britain — Veterans Supportive Housing

DOH will provide approximately $550,000 to Veterans, Inc. to help complete the conversion of a long-vacant and blighted historic property on Arch Street into a veterans’ housing development.  It will serve veteran households earning up to 50% of the area median income.  The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide an operating subsidy based on the number of veterans served.  The development is also co-funded by New Britain.  The location of this development is within walking distance of the main CTfastrak station located in the central business district, providing mass transit opportunities for these veterans. This is a gut rehabilitation of the structure and will replace the floors, ceilings, stairways, roof, windows, plumbing, electrical fixtures and sprinkler system for fire protection. 

  • New HavenCarmel Street

DOH will provide approximately $305,000 to Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, Inc. to complete the gut rehabilitation of 111 Carmel Street.  This property is currently a vacant and blighted eyesore in the Dixwell Avenue neighborhood.  This four-unit building will be fully rehabilitated to assure that the units are sustainable.  The rehabilitation will include energy efficient lighting, heating equipment and appliances.  The building is within walking distance to the major transportation arteries of Whalley and Dixwell Avenues, providing tenants with connectivity to all mass-transit opportunities. 

  • New HavenNew Haven Microhomes

DOH will provide approximately $869,000 to the Mutual Housing Association of South Central Connecticut (MHA) to assist in the development of seven microhomes for sale to owners at or below 100% of the area median income. The microhome concept is to design small-scale homes specifically for urban in-fill sites — which very often are demolished residential properties. If left undeveloped, these sites can become eyesores and contribute to neighborhood decay. The new homes are to be built on lots that have been chosen in cooperation with the city. As envisioned, the ownership unit will comprise approximately 500 square feet and a rental unit will comprise approximately 300 square feet. The innovative design will be completed by students from the Yale School of Architecture using comments and suggestions obtained after completion of one pilot home that is not part of this project. Construction will be staggered and the homes are anticipated to be built and sold in 14 months.

  • Norwich — Katie Blair and Flora O’Neil Apartments

Bethsaida, Inc. will receive approximately $385,000 to rehabilitate two sites that serve as supportive housing for homeless women. The innovative approach that Bethsaida has undertaken to house and provide employment training and educational opportunities these women has proven successful. Flora O’Neil apartments, a six-unit property for women and women with families, will be moderately rehabilitated to assure long-term sustainability.  The rehabilitation of Katie Blair House, serving 8 women, will include both exterior and interior repairs.  The rehabilitation will include energy efficiency improvements to assure the sustainable operation of these housing units into the future.

  • Old Saybrook — Saye Brook Village South

DOH will provide approximately $2 million to Old Saybrook Affordable Elderly Housing, Inc. to assist in the development of 15 affordable elderly rental units.  These newly constructed units will be in close proximity to the central business district and within walking distance to the senior center. This project promotes sustainable development through its construction entirely on the parcel of a former single family home immediately adjacent to two existing phases of Saye Brook Village East and West. These units will help to address the area’s waiting list for affordable elderly rental units — which includes over 100 households and a seven-year wait. DOH funds for this project are leveraged by a strong commitment from Essex Savings Bank of a $935,000 loan together with a bank-sponsored $500,000 capital contribution from the Federal Home Loan Bank through the Affordable Housing Program.

  • StamfordLighthouse 1

Shelter for the Homeless, Inc. will renovate two buildings to create 14 new units of subsidized permanent housing in Stamford for homeless and chronically homeless persons.  There will be eight single rooms with private baths, four one-bedroom units, and two efficiency units in two small multifamily buildings. Both of the buildings are in close proximity to a bus route providing access to Stamford’s multi-modal transportation system. Supportive services will also be available to residents. Two of the units will provide permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals and two additional units will be reserved for homeless veterans.  In addition to DOH’s $1,043,000 investment, the city will contribute $674,000 in Federal HOME and NSP dollars and the Federal Home Loan Bank will provide more than $1,200,000 in loans and grants.

  • Washington — Vincent Farm Homeownership Project

The Washington Community Housing Trust (WCHT) will create three new single-family homes on the Vincent Farm. An existing 4-bedroom farmhouse will be renovated and the remaining land will subdivided so that two additional homes can be built.  Income‐qualified homebuyers will purchase the actual residences, but WCHT will retain ownership of the land and lease them to the homebuyers for 99 years. The land lease will ensure that the homes will remain available and affordable for future income-qualified households. The total development cost is $1,065,300. In addition to DOH’s investment of approximately $480,000, the property was financed with a private, no-interest loan.  It is expected that the town also will assist the project with development costs and down payment assistance.